Tuesday. 28.05.2024

The former Spanish King Juan Carlos will establish his residence permanently in the United Arab Emirates, where he has been living since he left Spain.

The emeritus king went into exile in Abu Dhabi in August 2020 so as not to harm the reign of his son following scandals surrounding his private life and allegations of illegalities over business dealings related to Saudi Arabia.

In a letter addressed to his son, Felipe VI, the former Spanish king announced his decision to "continue to reside permanently and stable in Abu Dhabi." However, he says that he intends to travel "frequently" to Spain.

The 84-year-old does not rule out living in Spain again in the future, but says that he would do so in "areas of a private nature," away from the royal residence of the Palacio de la Zarzuela.

The letter, which has been made public by the Spanish Royal House, clears up some doubts about the future of Juan Carlos I a week after the Prosecutor's Office announced the closure of the three investigations it opened into his assets abroad.

The Prosecutor's Office said that, although alleged tax crimes would have been committed, they would be prescribed or not prosecutable as the former head of state enjoyed immunity until his abdication in 2014.

'Visit family, friends'

"I prefer, at this time, for reasons that belong to my private sphere and that only affect me, to continue residing permanently and stable in Abu Dhabi, where I have found peace of mind, especially for this period of my life," the 84-year-old says in the letter. "Although, naturally, I will frequently return to Spain, which I always carry in my heart, to visit family and friends," he adds.

The emeritus king does not rule out living in Spain in the future, but he intends to stay out of public life and organize his life and place of residence "in areas of a private nature, to continue enjoying the greatest possible privacy."

Sources close to Juan Carlos I quoted by the newspaper El Pais say that he plans to visit Spain in the coming weeks.

Former king of Spain to establish his permanent residence in Abu Dhabi